Blades miss out on Matt Derbyshire to Millers

Sheffield United
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Rotherham United have fended off reported interest from their Sheffield namesakes to land out-of-contract striker Matt Derbyshire.

Nigel Clough, the Sheffield United manager, has made a new striker his top priority this summer and Derbyshire - handed a free transfer by Nottingham Forest - fitted the bill.

But the Millers announced yesterday that the 28-year-old striker - who scored five times in the final five games of last season’s campaign for Forest - has joined them in the Championship, subject to a medical and FA clearance.

“Matt is a goalscorer, he has pace, he can get in behind defences and he is comfortable taking the ball into feet,” Millers boss Steve Evans said.

“Quite simply he will be an excellent signing for us. He’s at a good age, he has experience and his stats show that if you start the lad, he will score goals.

“I have had long chats with him about how hard he will have to work to get into my team, but one of his real assets is his work rate and that is such an important attribute.”

Derbyshire, who was first linked with the Blades two years ago, began his career at Blackburn before earning a £3 million move to Olympiakos.

Spells at Birmingham, Forest, Oldham and Blackpool have followed.

Remarkably, for a player aged 28, Derbyshire has made just 76 starting appearances throughout his entire career.

n Bramall Lane’s youngsters, meanwhile, are gearing up for a hectic pre-season - with every age group planning tours away from the club’s Redtooth Academy. The Under-9s and U-10s recently departed for a three-day tour of Belgium, while the U-11s to U-14s age groups will represent United at the Oakham Festival in Leicestershire, the Foyle Cup (Republic of Ireland) and the Milk Cup (Northern Ireland).

The U-16s travel to Aberdeen in July for the Denis Law International Tournament, and the U-18s will embark on a tour of Holland.

“It is fantastic to see our youngsters preparing for what promises to be a busy, busy summer.” Academy manager Nick Cox said.

“We are privileged that we have the opportunity to allow our youngsters to compete in tournaments across the country in addition to those travelling abroad. It will be an exciting few weeks and it is a great experience for the lads of all ages to experience something different. We are also confident that we will be competitive on the field.”

Blades: P43